Tuesday, May 26, 2009

June PhatBox Contribution

This blog entry is a tribute and thank you to the purchasers of the Phat Fiber Sample Box each month. I thought it might be fun for you to see what goes into those tiny little samples that you receive from all of us Phatties.
I'll skip over feeding, vetting, shearing, and caring for our dear 4 leggeds and jump right to that big, clear, plastic bag of freshly shorn alpaca fleece.
That's white Pollux (Luxie) above. After washing his fleece, I dyed three batches in my crock pot. Our Phat theme this month is Oceanic so I thought blues for water, yellow for sun, white for foam, and brown for sand.
I didn't have to dye any brown and just used Polaris's ↓ golden brown fleece just like it is, well, I did wash it...

After all this is dry, it's off to the carder. This picture → shows you peeling the fiber off the carder. If you want more info about my carding go here. I made these batts in layers - example - white, brown, blue, white, or whatever my gutts said to add next. As I was carding, I tossed in some crystal, shiney angelina, and some dyed silk that's been laying around forever. You can be a little creative when carding but after a while, I think it's a little boring. I priced a motor to speed things up a little, but they are about $1,000.
I ended up making 5 batts and stripping each batt to 4 strips which I then drafted a little to make it spin more like roving. (Drafting-pulling the fibers out so they line up next to each other in a thinner little roving)

Then I wrapped each strip around my hand, tucked the end in, to form these little nests.

........and tied each nest with some handspun alpaca yarn. I created little cards on my computer with pictures of Lars and Luxie. They deserve the credit for producing such lovely fiber for me, right? And the buyers need to know what they are getting and who it is from.
The final step is going on line to purchase my postage and stuffing the nests into the bag. Oh, and tossing in a few lavendar sachets. Jessie, our PhatLady who does all the promoting, coorinating, and mailing, gets a bigger sample of what I send to say thanks.